St. Croix (pronounced Kroy) is the largest of the four U.S. Virgin Islands and has one of the largest fringing reefs in the Caribbean. Our reef is as distinctive as the islands themselves. Topside St. Croix’s history and topography make it as diverse as it is underwater. St. Croix is surrounded by secluded beaches and tropical fauna so you’ll have many choices of excursions to fill your time when you’re not diving on St. Croix’s famous dive sites. Underwater, St. Croix has over 50 dive sites scattered around the island, you’ll have a choice between wall dives, reef dives, wreck dives, and one of the BEST pier dives in the Caribbean. Sealife is abundant on St. Croix with more than 500 species of fish, 40 types of coral, and hundreds of invertebrates that inhabit our waters.
Symbiosis Diving will consider your dive preferences and what you plan on doing with your time on land; we will then customize a dive package with the right dive operator and accommodations that suit you and your dive buddy’s needs. With so many dive sites available, St. Croix diving offers the option of boat dives, shore dives, or maybe a combination of both fits your schedule. Since many divers enjoy different dive styles and dive schedules, we will lay out your options so you can choose what dive areas best suit your style and what you want to focus on. For such a small island, you’d be surprised how diverse the terrain is and how long it can take to commute to dive sites and shops. We know one dive style, location or accommodation does not fit all. So, let’s dive in so you can see what we have on offer!
St. Croix Diving
All along the north shore of the island, at points as close as 100 yards, is the edge of the Puerto Rico trench, which is the deepest point in the Atlantic Ocean. This results in deep water nutrients rising and enriching the whole web of marine life. It’s a big part of why St. Croix has some of the best diving in the Caribbean it also results in some really good wall diving. Don’t worry, you don’t need to be a technical diver to dive here (although technical diving up to trimix is available and we can help you arrange it.) our wall dives start at about 15-30 feet before dropping off to around 80′ and then onward into the blue. Diving the wall usually brings in the reef sharks; they’re curious and like to come up shallow to see if you’re hunting lionfish or lobster. Make sure you take a look out into the blue once in a while to see if you can spot Eagle Rays going by. Because of St. Croix’s old Danish trading history, we had a lot of ships plying our waters back in the 1800s so make sure you keep your eye out for coral-encrusted ship anchors. Notable wall dives on the North Shore include Cane Bay, Northstar, Pavilions, and Twin Palms, to name a few.
Common Sightings: reef sharks, sea turtles, schooling reef fish (tangs, wrasse, jacks, snapper) triggerfish, juvenile drumfish, and other reef fish.
Possible Sightings: eagle rays, dolphins, hammerheads, jacks, barracuda, squid, and other large fish.
Long Reef and Northeast Coast
St. Croix’s Long Reef, as the name implies, is a long fringing reef that runs along the north shore of the island past the main town of Christiansted. The dive sites on Long Reef are varied with profiles ranging from gently sloping sand chutes and patch reefs to more sharply sloping reefs with large coral heads and mini walls. Diving the sand chutes is quite relaxing while searching for stingrays and garden eels. You will see coral heads (boulders), sea fans, an abundance of marine life and a chance for old Danish treasure. Notable sites – Stingraysted, Scotch Banks, Love Shack, and Turquoise Bay.
Common Sightings: reef sharks, sea turtles, schooling reef fish (tangs, creole wrasse, snapper, jacks), and other reef fish, stingrays, and lobster
Possible Sightings: eagle rays, dolphins, squid, barracuda, and other large fish.
Frederiksted Pier and West Coast
Diving St. Croix’s west coast offers one of the Caribbean’s most famous pier dives, the Frederiksted pier. An easy shore dive off St. Croix’s second historical town, Frederiksted, our 1500′ pier dive is a mecca for critters. It’s also a perfect place for photographers to capture macro and wide-angle. Pilings encrusted with corals and sponges give a home to St. Croix’s macro marine life. In between, you can find a large bait ball of scad, schools of snapper, hunting stingrays, and turtles swimming through the sunbeams dancing between the pillars.
Common Sightings: octopus, seahorse, adult and juvenile angelfish, various crabs and shrimp, mantis shrimp, anemone fish, turtles, stingrays, lobster, lionfish, jawfish (regularly brooding), porcupine fish, eels, and many other types of reef fish and critters.
Possible Sightings: eagle rays, frogfish, batfish, flying gurnards, old Chaney (beautifully designed shards of fine China from the 1800s).
The Deep Wrecks of Butler Bay were voted USA Today Reader’s Choice 2019 Best Caribbean Dive Site! This site is made up of two wrecks resting close to each other on a sandy bottom. The Rosa Maria’s stern rests in about 110’ and the Coakley Bay is in 60’. Both are commonly dove on the same dive.
The Shallow Wrecks of Butler Bay are a series of two wrecks, a large oil barge, and a section of an underwater habitat. They also are usually one long dive. Both sets of wrecks are encrusted with sponges and sea fans and have abundant fish life. Other notable reef sites on the West Coast – Armageddon, Sprat Hole, Aquarium Reef, and the Swirling Reef of Death (muuaaah).